The Art of gifting

Experts claim there is an art to gifting. I do not agree but believe there is a science to it with many variables.

It will depend on how long you have known the recipient, levels of respect, financial ability, and the exposure of the recipient.

The most important question still remains who and why are you gifting, and for what impact and result?

If you are gifting a young family member, it should be easier as you understand them well and have engaged long enough to know their wish and need-list. There is a difference.

If it’s a business colleague you might need to do some research on their hobbies and preferences.

If it is your mentor then you need to really step up to the plate. In the case of a relationship (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife) then the list is long and can be as elaborate as necessary.

Here is a list of my top six, in no particular order, and based on budget.

Scents make more sense

Max budget – $75 - $500

Go for perfumes that are unique and full of character. Avoid mainstream brands if you want to make an impact. Choose carefully based on the receiver’s lifestyle or to reflect your high standards.

If they are conservative and timid go for a subtle daytime fragrance. If on the other hand, they are vibrant and love the night-life, choose something stronger and more intense.
Remember, settling for common name brands shows a lack of initiative and imagination. They can easily access these without you. Great gifts must be memorable.

Some sure bets are Oud Attar Roja ( Oude Attar (  or Jo Malone ( Where possible, choose one that you can customize and personalize.


Jewellery – From a beautiful heart

Budget – $2,000 - 15,000

This is a very exciting type of gift but also very easy to get wrong. It depends on how well you know the receiver and how much information you have to work with.

If it is a man you could get a bracelet or set of cufflinks. A woman would appreciate earrings or a necklace. Avoid the cheap $75 gold-plated cufflinks as they will fall apart or fade in no time, as will your relationship.

Settle for something authentic from a renowned jewelry designer. You have many choices. If budget allows, start with a unique brand like Patrick Mavros ( or something more affordable from Adele Dejak ( You could also be more creative and opt for a new brand like Pukka Berlin ( that can be found in Berlin, Germany, and Nairobi's  Westgate Mall. All these brands have an online store and will ship globally.

What I like about these designers is their products will send a strong message that you really care as they are unique.

Vehicle – An amazing journey together

Budget - $10,000 – $35,000 and beyond

This gets very complicated because there are so many things to consider. Are you looking to get a used or new? A previously loved vehicle while of great value, could end up breaking down and turning the gift into grief.

If you opt for new then you will be reassured that it comes with a warranty in the event that something goes wrong. Fortunately, within the above budget, you will get the best in both categories. If you opt for a used vehicle I would recommend you go for a low mileage Electric/hybrid model. It is the future and comes with low running costs.

If buying new the choice is even wider. At under $10,000 there are cheerful models from almost every brand. Above that, you have the VW, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Ford, just to name a few.

If money is not the issue you can select from more expensive brands which allows you the opportunity to personalize the gift. In this case think Bentley, BWM, and Mercedes as a starting point. Be ready to wait so plan in advance.

You will have to plan ahead as this could take six up to 12 months to deliver.

Timepiece – For time well spent

Budget $500 – $30,000

Remember there is a difference between a watch and a timepiece. Never buy a watch if you intend to impress and respect the time you have known each other.

Regular watches expire in a couple of years while timepieces appreciate in value over time.

A decent watch will cost anything between $250 and $900 while a proper timepiece starts at $1000 to as much as you can afford. Examples entry-level luxury timepieces from Switzerland are Tag Heuer, Breitling, Mont Blanc and Longines in the mid-range.

If you would like to spend a little more whilst playing it safe, a Rolex will do. It is relatively common, producing over 2,000 pieces a day, but will impress sufficiently.

You might want to start with a Glashutte Original or something from A Lange & Sohne. If you really want to show that you did your research then go for something more personalized from Patek Phillippe, Vacheron Constantine, or Audemars Piquet.

These brands have been around for a long time and have retained their watchmaking ability is beyond question. These timepieces push engineering, design and craftsmanship to a whole new level and make great gifts.

Experience – Priceless moments

Budget – Unlimited

An experience is intangible and will remain in the memory of the recipient forever. It will however be competing with other experiences so you need to make it count.

You could opt for a private holiday at an exotic destination via chartered or private jet. You could also simply book good a local luxury hotel for a couple of nights and have them be treated like royalty.

It will need to be a hotel they have never been to. A few suggestion would be the Hemingways in Nairobi or something in the South of Spain or Portugal. Best to go for a high-end furnished apartment or villa with full butler service.

These are hardly advertised and maintain a level of luxury few can match.

You could also fly them out to the Maasai Mara or Laikipia and book them into one of the best camps in Africa.

These come to mind, Finch Hattons, Segera Lodge. Mara Plains, Cottars 1920s Safari Camp or Olare Mara Kempinski.

Life-changing gifts

Budget – Unlimited

If none of the above will do it for this special person, then you might want to consider a different type of gift. A home or piece of land will have a massive impact on the life of a young adult in the family.

A son, daughter, niece, nephew, or grandchild might want a car or any of the above but an asset will set them up well for a more secure future.

Property appreciates in value over time and you just need to choose which country and city to invest in.

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